Randy Smith: SEC Picks Week Three

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Just like the Tennessee Volunteers, week two was much much better for my SEC prognostications. Picking the winners in ten of twelve games was much better than my opening week of 8-5. While last week was basically void of any great match ups in SEC play, there are a few dandy games this week. 

Alabama at Ole Miss
We'll begin with the SEC headliner. Alabama has lost a grand total of three games in the last two seasons and two of the three losses have been to Ole Miss. The Johnny Rebs seem to have Nick Saban's number. Ole Miss has already proven they have offensive firepower in their 1-1 start to this season, and they'll need to pull out a few more plays if they make it three in row over the Crimson Tide.

Alabama is ranked number one for a very good reason; the Tide is very good. Even with a freshman quarterback directing the offense, there is talent galore all over the 'Bama roster. While this game is in Oxford and could be very exciting, I think the Ole Miss winning streak over the Tide is snapped.
Alabama 35 Ole Miss 20

Texas State at Arkansas
The Razorbacks seem to have a "Jekyl and Hyde" personality. They barely win their season opener with Louisiana Tech, then pull off a big upset win over TCU last week. The bottom line is.....Arkansas is 2-0 on the year and will be 3-0 when the final horn sounds this weekend.
Arkansas 33 Texas State 10

Texas A&M at Auburn
This is another of the SEC headliners this weekend. The Aggies are off to a 2-0 start as they play their initial road game of the season at Auburn. Quarterback Trevor Knight has given head coach kevin Sumlin some real stability directing the Aggies offense. Keeping him healthy for an entire season is paramount for A&M. Auburn has proven to be a solid defensive football team, but against good competition, the Tigers still have trouble moving the football consistently. It appears that Coach Gus Malzahn has given up playing three quarterbacks, and is now only playing two. That's better, but you know what they say.....If you have two quarterbacks, then you don't have any quarterbacks. Coach, just give Sean White the job and don't let him get you beat. In a close one,
Auburn 27 Texas A&M 24

North Texas at Florida
Another cupcake for the Gators in "The Swamp" They easily handled pitiful Kentucky last week and will more than likely win big this week as well. Though North Texas from the Conference-USA could have a surprise in store, the Gators will have this one in control early.
Florida 46 North Texas 14

Georgia at Missouri
The Bulldogs barely won over FCS squad Nicholls State last week 26-24, and this week Georgia plays its SEC opener at Missouri. Missouri is 1-1 on the year and the Tigers are still having trouble scoring points. The Bulldogs should straighten things out this weekend, but you know how it is playing on the road in the SEC. While super freshman quarterback Jacob Eason looked great against North Carolina, he looked more human against Nicholls. Never has it ever been more important than right now to keep Nick Chubb healthy.  
Georgia 27 Missouri 13

New Mexico State at Kentucky
The Wildcats are 0-2 on the year following losses to Southern Miss and Florida. It appears the Wildcats are bucking their recent trend of starting strong and finishing poorly to miss a bowl game. Looks like the Cats will be playing poorly all season long as the seat gets hotter under Coach Mark Stoops rear end. New Mexico State is not a strong program and will be leaving the Sun Belt Conference in 2017 to try things as an independent. 
Kentucky 44 New Mexico State 20

Mississippi State at LSU
This game is becoming more and more interesting as game time nears. Benched LSU quarterback Brandon Harris has been threatening to transfer, while new starting qb Danny Etling is winning the favor of Bengal Tiger fans. Mississippi State seems to have straightened things out following their embarrassing opening loss to South Alabama. They easily dispatched South Carolina last week and are 1-0 in the SEC. A win in Death Valley would be a monumental one for the Bulldogs. I'm tempted to pick an upset...........but I'm sticking with the Tigers one more week.
LSU 23 Mississippi State 17

East Carolina at South Carolina
The Gamecocks opened with an upset at Vanderbilt, then were soundly beaten at Mississippi State last week. Facing facts, South Carolina is not a very good football team. If new head coach Will Muschamp were a miracle worker, they still would be bad. The talent is sparse in Columbia yuet there still may be enough to win against the Pirates. ECU was 5-7 a year ago and looks to be improved in 2016. If the Pirates pull the upset, don't be at all surprised.
South Carolina 16 East Carolina 14

Vanderbilt at Georgia Tech
The Commodores scored a big win over Mid-State rival Middle Tennessee State last weekend in Nashville and now Vandy hits the road, traveling to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. The Yellowjackets are off to a good start with wins over Boston College and Mercer. Tech will host Clemson next week in a key ACC contest, so there could be some looking ahead. Vandy is 1-1 on the year and the seat is getting hotter in Coach Derek Mason's chair. Tech should remain unbeaten when they host the powerful Tigers next weekend.
Georgia Tech 28 Vanderbilt 13

Ohio University at Tennessee
Tennessee fans were really squirming in their seats after Virginia Tech jumped out to a 14-0 lead after the first quarter of the "Battle at Bristol" last week. Then the Volunteers started playing enthused football and ran off 31 unanswered points on their way to a 45-24 win over the Hokies. I believe there are still problems on this Tennessee team especially on offense. Things are still out of sync, but the optimist in me is saying they'll be okay. Playing Ohio this week before hosting the Florida Gators gives them one more week to right the ship.
Tennessee 42 Ohio 14 

Last week: 10-2
Year to date: 18-7

--- 

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have four grandchildren, Coleman, Boone, DellaMae and CoraLee.


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